Arson name suppression

A Central Otago man charged with arson at the Pig and Whistle pub in Queenstown on January 2 was granted interim name suppression and remanded to January 28 when he appeared in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

The 28-year-old faces one indictably laid charge of intentionally damaging by fire property of the Pig & Whistle, knowing danger to life was likely to ensue.

Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said the defendant lit an item of clothing and threw it towards some other patrons in the bar.

''Then he went into the toilets, closed the cubicle behind him, set fire to an article of property within the toilet roll housing, locked the cubicle behind him and left the fire in situ,'' Sgt Collin said.

Fire alarms were activated, the premises were evacuated and the toilet cubicle was found to be damaged.

Given the possibility the charge would be ''considerably reduced'', Judge Phillips granted interim name suppression until January 28. He did not consider grounds raised by the defendant's counsel, Bruce Boivin, sufficient to warrant permanent name suppression. The man's bail conditions were also varied, allowing him on licensed premises between 3pm and midnight on January 11, to attend a wedding.